Tropical storm warning posted for Sarasota, Manatee

A road damaged in a previous storm in Alligator Point is not yet fixed. Mandatory evacuation orders are in place for the area.  Credit Erich Martin

The center of Subtropical Storm Alberto will likely reach the northern U.S. Gulf Coast Monday afternoon or evening.

By midday Sunday, the US Southeast was seeing 50-mile-per-hour (80-km-per-hour) winds and up to 10 inches of rain in some places.

The storm is expected to make landfall early Monday morning on Florida's Panhandle. In between the rain, mostly to partly cloudy skies will prevail with muggy conditions.

More than 5,000 were evacuated in Cuba over the raging subtropical storm Alberto, Sputnik reports.Some 3,000 people were evacuated in the central province of Sancti Spiritus because of the flooding threat, also near the Zaza Reservoir, which is overflowed because of the heavy rainfall, the EFE news agency reported.Meanwhile, about 2,000 people were reportedly evacuated in the province of Villa Clara. The National Hurricane Center in Miami issued tropical storm warnings for parts of Florida and Alabama, saying tropical storm conditions are possible there by Sunday night. Maximum amounts of 15 inches are possible along Alberto's track from eastern Louisiana, across much of Mississippi, Alabama, western Tennessee and the western Florida panhandle, forecasters said. Later, it cancelled storm surge warnings for most of the Florida peninsula, saying the Panhandle remained the focus of concern. Area residents along the Mississippi Gulf Coast were under a number of weather advisories, as Subtropical Storm Alberto slowly makes its way through the Gulf of Mexico. Lifeguards posted red flags along the white sands of Pensacola Beach, where swimming and wading were banned amid high surf and unsafe conditions. The Tampa Bay is not longer under a storm surge watch at the moment, but that could, of course, change.

A tropical storm warning remains in effect for an area stretching from Florida's Suwannee River to the border of Alabama and Mississippi.

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"The primary effects we will see from this storm in west central and southwest Florida will be heavy rainfall, isolated thunderstorms, gusty winds, and unsafe marine conditions", the weather service forecast said.

At 10 p.m. Sunday, Alberto was centered about 205 miles west of Tampa and had top sustained winds of 65 mph - up from 50 mph earlier.

Florida, Alabama and MS declared states of emergency on Saturday as the storm threatened up to 12 inches of rain over the Memorial Day weekend, as well as tidal surges and damaging winds, according to Patrick Burke of the weather service's Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland. Although, the season doesn't technically start until June 1.

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for an area stretching from MS to North Carolina that is home to millions of people.

On Sunday, gusty showers began lashing parts of Florida, and authorities were warning of the possibility of flash flooding. In the end, it might not be wind and disruption to energy production that the storm is best known for. Meteorologists are calling it a "subtropical storm", not to be confused with the just plain tropical storms we know and dread.

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